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Was Feynman right when he said “If you give more money to theoretical physics, it doesn’t do any good if it just increases the number of guys following the comet head”?

This essay was originally published in 2013 on https://www.quora.com [Note added in response to comment: I am responding here to Feynman’s suggestion in the second half of the quote that the *only* way to make progress is to encourage career risk. My objection is to the continuing wasteful and dangerous conflation of personal intellectual risk and […]

How does gauge theory apply to economic models and indices?

This essay was originally published in 2013 on https://www.quora.com Since the excellent and clear article by Prof. Edward Frenkel inspiring this question focuses on my joint work with the economist Pia Malaney, I would be happy to say a few words here. This may be considered a brief sketch of our program through the Institute for New Economic Thinking […]

Einstein’s Revenge: The New Geometric Quantum

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DEEP, ELEGANT, OR BEAUTIFUL EXPLANATION? Einstein’s Revenge: The New Geometric Quantum The modern theory of the quantum has only recently come to be understood to be even more exquisitely geometric than Einstein’s General Relativity. How this realization unfolded over the last 40 years is a fascinating story that has, to the […]


WHAT SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT WOULD IMPROVE EVERYBODY’S COGNITIVE TOOLKIT? Kayfabe The sophisticated “scientific concept” with the greatest potential to enhance human understanding may be argued to come not from the halls of academe, but rather from the unlikely research environment of professional wrestling. Evolutionary biologists Richard Alexander and Robert Trivers have recently emphasized that it is […]